Thai Premier League
Number of Teams: 18
Relegation to: Thai Division 1 League
Domestic Cups: FA Cup; Queen’s Cup
Current Champions: Muang Thong United
Most number of Championships: Muang Thong United, Air Force United, Krung Thai Bank, BEC Tero Sasana (2)
The Thai Premier League was formed by the Football Association of Thailand in 1996, replacing the Kor Royal Cup as the highest level of Football in Thailand.
Between 1915 and 1995 the Kor Royal Cup was the top level of the game in Thailand and despite being superseded by the Thai Premier League still has a place in the Thai Football system, with the Kor Royal Cup now an annual trophy that is contested by the winners of the Thai Premier League and Thai FA Cup.
The Thai Premier League debuted with 18 teams, the same number that compete in the competition to this day, however this was cut back to 12 for the 1997 season. In the 2002-03 this was cut back again to ten teams, however expansion started not long after (in 2006) when the league grew to 12 teams and the following year (1997) the TPL grew once again, this time to 16 teams.
Bangkok Bank, who dropped out of the Thai football system in 2008 after being relegated from the Thai Premier League, won the first Thai Premier League in 1996.
In the last few years the Football Association of Thailand, in line with AFC regulations, has mandated that clubs become registered companies and has placed a greater emphasis on building links with the local communities.
Whilst the Thai Premier League is still a minor league when compared to the major Asian leagues, there is now doubt it is one of the premier leagues in the ASEAN region.
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